Monday, July 26, 2010

Story #99 - Attachment, by Tiffany Johnstone

Hi everyone! I am back this week, with a new story by Tiffany Johnstone! She is a very talented writer and is working on her PhD in English. She is better than pretty much everyone else! Here you go!

If you have a story to submit, check out the submission guidelines and send it to djfschwartz at gmail dot com.


by Tiffany Johnstone

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

When I was 18, i left the little fishing village that I grew up in and had to say goodbye to my family, my pets, and my first boyfriend. I moved to Toronto and went to an elitist college. I grew up in a humble intellectual family. But at the school, a lot of the people there were rich and had been to private schools and were very concerned with either conformists rising on the ladder of social status or aspiring toward what felt to my 18 year old self like ruthless materialistic individualism. Feeling lost, I threw myself into my work. One day, a family of squirrels built a nest in my window pane.

I decided that this was some kind of sign that I was not alone and that there was still a place for spiritual growth and community and passion in such an urban space. I fell completely in love with the squirrel family. I watched the babies grow from tiny naked possibilities to round muscular young creatures. I even watched them on the day that they decided to leave the window and even though I listened everyday for them, they never returned.

I cleaned the nest, hoping to move on from this experience of harbouring this family of animals that I had allowed myself to love. But unfortunately, the squirrels must have had fleas because then I was bitten several times. My room had to be fumigated and I had to move to the spare room that was in the lobby of the dormitory. Each morning the cleaning lady forgot that I lived there and opened the door causing me to scream in shock, once while an exam was taking place next door.

Then I broke out in hives and had to go the doctor where I promptly fainted and had to be carried past all the patients in the waiting room. Actually, when I fainted, it turns out that I astral travelled. I was consciously unconscious so to speak. All I remember is feeling as though I was completely free and safe and that waking up was like falling...or like leaving a nest.